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Let's assume I have an entity called Policy. Well, policies get renewed on an annual term, so there's likely an entity called Period.

The sentence is extracted from http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd419654.aspx

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I think 'on an annual term' here means ' a 12 month period '.

Used instead of 'yearly' as this might be taken to imply the period "January 1st" to "December 31st".

However the language used in contracts is only vaguely related to everyday English. This usage probably comes about because of some obscure case history in contract law.

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Yes, that makes sense. There are different sorts of years, fiscal years for example, that don't coincide with calendar years necessarily. I think you are correct, that an annual term is more easily understood as any 12 month period, rather than the possible confusion with yearly start and end dates! –  Feral Oink Nov 21 '11 at 20:20

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